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15 common IT job search mistakes

Rich Hein | Oct. 17, 2013
Searching for a new IT position in a competitive market can be an uphill battle. One little mistake could cost you the opportunity. Read on to make sure you aren't making one of these commonly seen blunders in your job search.

Are you an IT professional whose job search doesn't seem to be going anywhere? Looking for a new postion in a competitive tech job market can be frustrating when you aren't achieving your desired results. How do you make yourself stand apart from all the other job seekers?

Part of that equation is preparing a strategy, building a plan and avoiding the common pitfalls. If you're not diligent, patient and careful it's easy for things to fall through the cracks. To help you prevent that from happening, spoke with career coaches, resume writers and IT recruiters to shed light on the most commonly seen mistakes IT pros make when conducting their job search.

1. Not Planning and Preparing a Job Search Strategy
Searching for a new position is a full-time job. Many candidates go into the search with little or no preparation. More than that, they don't set aside enough time each week or set the proper expectations in terms of how long the overall process will require.

"Having a focused strategy that makes the best use of whatever time you can commit to the search is imperative. I talk to too many professionals who spend several hours each day or night and all they accomplish is sifting through hundreds of postings listed with online job boards," says Stephen Van Vreede, career strategist and founder of ITTechExec.

2. Not Maintaining and Growing Your Network
According to a 2011 survey from, more than half of job seekers had been hired through a friend's referral. If you look around the Web many sites say between 70-80 percent of jobs are found through networking. With odds like that, you should spend some time growing your professional network.

If people in your network don't know your skillset and what your value is, chances are they can't really help you find a new job. You have to cultivate and grow these relationships.

"Most people who don't fully buy into the concept of networking, whether in-person or online, do not sustain the relationships they have made over the years. They consider themselves too busy to reach out to their network on a periodic basis just to stay in touch. Yet, when they go to launch a job search, they immediately and frantically contact everyone they know. To be honest, this is really annoying. I mean, who wants to have relationships in which a person only contacts you when they need or want something from you? It makes people not want to help you at all," says Van Vreede.

3. Casting Too Wide a Net
Casting a wide net can leave a lot of holes. Many times people get nervous about landing a job, so they figure expanding the scope of the search will yield more opportunities. Wrong answer, according to Van Vreede.


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